Posts Tagged ‘Perfectionism’

Sewing Project and Perfectionism

April 11, 2010

Yesterday, Eleanor completed a sewing project for which we had bought the materials several weeks ago. Margaret, she and I had bought some pillowcases and ribbon to make some cute dresses to send to Haiti. These were very simple dresses and perfect projects for the girls.

Well, we kind of put off doing them until the day before our deadline. Thanks to Flylady, I’m always suspicious now when I do something like that. So, when I stopped and thought about it for a moment, I realized that, yes, I had been putting off making these because there was a risk of their not being perfect.

I was not about to give up on this project just because there was a risk of the dresses not being perfect, so we got out the new-to-us sewing machine that I got at the auction last fall, complete with manual. Except, we realized, the manual was not for our machine. Okay…so we located the manual online, got the machine threaded and it really sewed quite beautifully. Eleanor got the casing made for the elastic across the front and back and then it was time to make the armhole casings for the shoulder ties. This was definitely more difficult to do than if we had made the casing before we gathered the front with elastic. After a quick phone consultation with Amelia, we dug through the bias tape box, found some perfect wide, double-fold, red bias tape, sewed the decorative ribbon we had originally intended as the ribbon ties onto one side of the bias tape and then sewed the newly decorated bias tape to the armscyes to make the shoulder ties. Whew. Then we repeated the whole process for the second dress.

Are the dresses perfect? No. Are they adorable and wearable? Yes. Would we wear them? Yes! So, off they go to Haiti tomorrow when Alissa adds them to her many, many contributions and mails it all.

Give it up, Perfectionism. We’ve got your number, now.


Flylady and Perfectionism, Again

March 25, 2010

I liked Flylady’s Morning Musing today. I especially like the way she mentioned that:

We get emails wanting us to adapt our messages for Payroll SHEs, FLY Guys, Retired members, Stay At Home Moms, Work at home Moms, Single members, Single parents, people with MS, children . . . . The list could go on forever. Every one is an individual, each person believes that their situation is different and therefore our messages are not geared toward them. I get pretty tough with them, because I see their perfectionism rearing its ugly head.

As usual, Flylady is very perceptive about the root of our SHE tendencies, our excuses, our reluctance to just begin: perfectionism. And I think that perfectionism is like a weed. We’ve identified it. We’ve acknowledged its noxious, pervading influence on our lives. We think we’ve uprooted it. We think it’s gone from our lives. But, then, we find out that it’s sent out a root and, there it is again, rearing its ugly head.

The persistence of perfectionism in its many manifestations is one of the trickiest things to deal with, I believe, in developing my Flylady habits. This blog has been an extremely motivating tool for me in identifying the weedy perfectionism that might otherwise have resulted in my throwing in the Flylady purple rag long ago. I’m glad that Flylady is willing to keep addressing the root issues as well as the practical solutions to our SHE-ness.

Flylady and Relationships

February 26, 2010

Oh, oh, oh! Have you read Flylady’s post on Relationship Procrastination? This was an amazing “God Breeze” for me this morning because we had just, just, just had a wonderfully enthusiastic, Spirit-led discussion at Bible study this morning about forming a “Compassion Committee” at church to nurture relationships in the body of Christ!

We are not going to procrastinate any longer. We have a plan of action — and it might not even be a perfect plan! But, we are just going to go for it and build relationships!

I am excited!

Flylady, Perfectionism and Christmas Gifts

December 11, 2009

One thing I really like about Flylady is how she is always prompting me to think about the gut-level, even subconscious, motivations for my behaviors. Of course, I think a lot about perfectionism, as well as procrastination. (I found this very interesting, for example.) I think that examining and resolving the “real” issues behind the behaviors that resulted in CHAOS to start with will bring about long-term success and FLYing.

So, the other day, I found myself analyzing my very strong tendency to put off assembling Christmas gifts for extended family and local friends. I mean, after all, we planned it all out, bought the ingredients, were ready to go, and, until Joey actually took some time to put it all together, the ingredients just sat on my kitchen island. Why?

Many years ago, I used to love to search and search and search to find the perfect gift for each person on my list. Gift-giving is not even my love language, so I know that wasn’t my motivation. Did I want each person to think, Ah, the BEST gift I received this year was from Lisa? And what difference would it make if they did think that?

Time and budgetary restraints eliminated that practice a long time ago, but I obviously have some residual desire to provide the BEST, the perfect, present to each gift recipient. I know that I can’t possibly attempt to do that anymore, so, even though I’ve planned for some decent gifts that will hopefully communicate the message that we love and are thinking of each recipient at this special time of year, I put off actually assembling the gifts.

I’m hoping that thinking about this issue will help me start to eliminate that desire to give the perfect gift. I’m hoping that I can enjoy the process and focus on the message that we’re trying to communicate by giving gifts. Thanks, Flylady, for making me think.

Flylady and Perfectionism and Decorating on the Fly in Zone 1

December 8, 2009

Ever since I wrote about perfectionism a couple of days ago, I’ve noticed more subtle occasions when perfectionism tries to sneak into my life. For example, I had purchased and decorated my Christmas wreaths for Zone 1. I had only to purchase the door hangers, which I did. Then, right before I was about to hang the wreaths, I decided that I would add bows made from the leftover ribbon from my Glittery Fruit Wreath. That was when perfectionism sneaked up on me.

I found myself frustrated with making the bows because they didn’t look “perfect” and I came very, very close to setting the whole project aside. Well, you know what happens when you set aside a project because of perfectionism! Those wreaths, hangers and all, would have been right where I left them on my kitchen counter, quietly, constantly reminding me that I needed to finish them, until I got fed up with their nagging and banished them to the storeroom until “later” when I had time to make a “perfect” bow.

In that scenario, we wouldn’t be enjoying the wreaths or the decorating I’d already done on them. AND I would have an unfinished project lurking in the back of my mind. So, instead of banishing the wreaths, I banished perfectionism. I looked online for simple bow-making instructions that might work with the ribbon I had. In the course of about 10 minutes, I came up with a couple of decent, presentable bows that were NOT perfect, I attached them to my wreaths and I hung the wreaths on our front and back doors to be enjoyed throughout the holiday season.

That was one perfectionism situation recognized, hauled into the light and dealt with. Wait until I tell you about the gift-giving perfectionism, though….

P.S. This is my 100th post!

Flylady and Perfectionism

December 4, 2009

Yesterday, I took Amelia to the airport to go visit Amy. This was not the original plan. Stephen was supposed to take her. But, alas, Stephen was not feeling well. So, Margaret, Eleanor, Charlotte and I piled in the car and made the trip. Now, in general, it would seem that a 4-hour, one-way trip that results in immediately turning around and coming back home would not be something to look forward to. BUT, in this case, it meant having 4 hours of uninterrupted conversation with Amelia. This is heavenly for two people whose primary love languages include quality time.

Yes, we talked for 4 solid hours. The little girls were sleepy and quiet in the back seat the whole way. Our topics ranged far and wide. But one topic that I’ve continued thinking about is perfectionism. We talked about how perfectionism sneaks around, disguising itself as something else. Consequently, many people are fooled into thinking that they are not “perfectionists.” (We SHEs know better!) But no matter what the disguise, or whether or not it is acknowledged for what it is, perfectionism negatively impacts so many people.

We talked about how very creative people don’t ever begin (or, if they begin, don’t finish) artistic projects because they are afraid that the project won’t be “perfect.” We talked about how, obviously, simple housework goes undone because washing a bowl and cup also means, to the perfectionist, that the whole kitchen must be scrubbed from top to bottom and he or she doesn’t have time for that. We talked about how perfectionism negatively impacts relationships when the perfectionist actually attempts to make a project “perfect,” steamrolling over anyone else involved in the project who has a different opinion. We talked about how perfectionism paralyzes the perfectionist from learning anything new that he or she can’t be sure to perform perfectly the first time.

I am very grateful for Amelia’s mature insights into how perfectionism impacts people’s lives. I am grateful for Flylady’s addressing the whole issue directly and persistently. I really think that perfectionism, in its inherent selfishness, gets in the way of love so often that we need to be hyper-diligent about recognizing it for what it is, especially in our families and in the church where perfectionism is hindering the advancement of the gospel.

This discussion of perfectionism is definitely one that will be continued.

Flylady’s Post on Anger and Perfectionism

October 2, 2009

Have you read Flylady’s post on Anger and Perfectionism? It gave me some more food for thought. I have to admit that I really haven’t developed an acceptable (in my mind, anyway) process for dealing with any anger. And when Flylady tied anger to perfectionism and mentioned how we tend to turn anger inside and it becomes sadness and depression and then “we eat to make the hurt go away,” it kind of got my attention.

I’m interested in observing how often anger is a component of an issue that frustrates me. I would not have thought of anger being that influential in my life because I don’t consider myself a generally angry person. But, this post has really piqued my curiosity.

Hmm…more musings on the horizon, me thinks.